Sashimi Set at Tomii (’09/04)

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Pic kindly upgraded by Jay Gustafson!

As said before, there are times I cannot work until late without taking a break and have a quick bite. I prefer to eat good food, then, even to a minimum. I’ve long stopped “filling a hole” with the nearest junk food.

To make a story short, I found myself in front a sashimi plate at my favourite Japanese restaurant, Tomii (the second posting in a row, I know! LOL).

Here is what I was served:
(From right to left, bottom row)
-Isaki no Yakishimo/Isaki is a local seabream/snapper. “Yakishimo” can be called “Aburi”, that is the fish has been ever so slightly grilled on its skin. The fish was caught in Suruga Bay.
-Freshly grated wasabi from Shizuoka
-Aori Ika/Cuttlefish variety. Body and “ears”/fins
-Shiso/perilla flowers
-Uni/sea urchin on a small shiso/perilla leaf
(From right to left, top row)
-Madai/”true Snapper”. It was caught in Sagara (Shizuoka Pref.)
-Sliced balck daikon
-Hirame/sole caught off Miho, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City
-Akami/tuna lean part
All the chopped vegetables are local.

Culinary art at its best!


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Japanese Cuisine: “Zensai”/Hors d’Oeuvres

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Good Japanese Cuisine Restaurants in this country have a way to encourage you to eat and ord by serving “Zensai”, or Hors d’Oeuvres with your first drink. Whereas it can be mediocre at the best in most establishments, it becomes a real treat at Tomii, one of my favourite “Nihon Ryouri”?Japanese Cuisine restaurants in Shizuoka City!

This is what I was served last night as I took a break from work:

-Hotate Kainashira Daikon Oroshi/in the small pot, cooked scallops and served cold with grated daikon and sauce.
-Na no Hana/Rape flowers atop:
-Tori no Matsukazekaze Yaki/Japanese-style Chicken Terrine
-Fuku Mame/ a large sweet black bean
-Aka kabu/Red Turnip atop Tako/Simmered Octopus and in front of Uni Shinjo Take/steamed fish paste coated with sea urchin sauce

I wouldn’t mind dining on s eries of them!

TOMII
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-cho, 1-2-7, Tomii Bldg, 1F
Tel.: 054-274-0666
Business hours: 17:00~22:00
Closed on Sundays
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)


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Japanese Seasonal Fish: Seabass/Suzuki

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Suzuki or seabass is a fish so popular with anglers all over the world that a lot of people forget it is an extremely popular fish for sashimi and sushi in Japan.

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(Pic taken at Tomii Restaurant in Shizuoka City)

Like any other fish, it bears many names: Madaka, Hakura, Shiibasu.
In the Kanto area, including Shizuoka Prefecture, it is called Seigo when under 25cm. At 3 years of age, when it has attained a length of near 60cm, it is called Fukko or Suzuki.
In Kansai it is called Seigo, Hane, and Suzuki.

seabass-3seabass-4

As you can see above the colour and texture are slightly different (Fukko is on the right)

It is indeed a bit early to introduce this fish, but I can’t help thonking about it!
A summer fish par excellence, it is caught mainly in Central and western japan.
The bigger and the older the fish, the better it is considered. After a decline in the 1980’s, catches have increased recently, reaching more than 9,300 tonnes after 2000.

Of course it is a fish you can appreciate cooked or simmered, or grilled, although it becomes fragile and breaks up easily upon being cooked.


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Foodbuzz Virtual Bar (second proposal): Submit a Drink!

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Greetings, everyone!
You can’t stop the old geezer!

I recently made a proposal for a Foodbuzz Virtual Bar, but after some talks (Thanks, Natasha and Jen!) and a lot of thinking (not true, LOL, pining, I would say!), it might prove too big an enterprise for the Foodbuzz gurus to change the whole tool bar to accomodate a new “Tasting/Drinks/Bar” portal.

Now, until time and technology is found, a (momentarily) satisfactory solution could be to add a new item to the “Submit Foodbuzz” window called “Submit a Drink”!
To this, a whole range of alternate subdivisions could be added like in the “Submit a Recipe” item (courses, cuisines, diets, etc.) such as “Wines”, “Beers”, “Sake”, “Spirits”, Soft Drinks”, etc.

What do you all think?


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Today’s Lunch Box/ Bento (‘9/8)

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Today’s Bento could called “traditional” or “classic”. At least in its concept and presentation, but with a little twist!

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The rice is concealed by a topping made of Japanese-style scrambled eggs and a fried mixture of minced chicken and tofu (combined as a paste first, then fried). On the left, a trio of accompaniments: renkon (lotus roots) and tea-smoked chicken ham (bottom), home-made daikon pickles (one plain, the other marinated in umezu/Japanese plum vinegar-middle), and stewed soy bean salad by the Missus’ mother.
The rice dish and the garnish are divided with a line of broiled broccoli.

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The little twist was the Missus steamed the rice with green tea powder. If you want to try it (very tasty), sprinkle the rice (in water) with plenty of green tea powder before steaming. Mix the lot only once the rice is properly cooked.

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As for the salad, simple affair: On a bed of shredded greens more greens, walnuts and Shizuoka-grown strawberries for dessert1

Had a little problem standing up after that!


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Bryan Baird’s Newsletter (2009/4)


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Baird Beer & Taproom Events Bulletin 2009 #4
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Dear Taproom Friend & Baird Beer Enthusiast:

Today marks the 8th annual release of the first fruited ale ever brewed at Baird Beer: The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale.

The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale 2009 (ABV 6.7%):

The mikans used in this brew are fresh, succulent, and local — harvested on the Heda land and by the hand of our carpenter friend, Nagakura-san. The Baird brewers hand-process the harvested mikans, shaving off the outer skin of the peel and pressing the juice. Both peel shavings and juice are added to the brew at different stages of production. The mikans serve to add depth and complexity to an already sumptious ale; their role is to complement, not dominate.

In addition to mikans, the 2009 Carpenter’s Mikan Ale incorporates a grain bill including Maris Otter pale ale malt, wheat malt, unmalted wheat and two types of Japanese sugar (sudakito and akato). The hopping schedule features cirtrusy Centennial and Cascade varieties including dry-hop additions to the conditioning tank. The combination of mikans and citrus hops provide an exquisitely complex yet balanced fruit character. The wonderful aromatics of this character waft gorgeously from the billowy white head that forms in the glass. Final transport to beer Nirvana comes courtesy of the tight and spritzy natural carbonation that works to keep you tastebuds fresh and alert.

The Carpenter’s Mikan Ale is now pouring from the taps of both of our Taprooms. It also will be available on draught and in bottle-conditioned form (633 ml bottls) at select Baird Beer retailing pubs, restaurants and liquor stores throughout Japan.

Big Beer Winter Week 2009:

Each winter we use our Taproom as a venue for a week-long celebration of strong and fortifying ales and lagers. We call this celebration Big Beer Winter Week. During this week, a collection of strong ales and lagers will be served simultaneously and paired with cuisine designed to complement these robust and warming libations. This year, we will hold this event at each Taproom during successive weeks. Specific dates are listed below:

*Nakameguro Taproom Big Beer Winter Week 2009 (Wednesday, February 11 – Tuesday, February 17)
*Fishmarket Taproom Big Beer Winter Week 2009 (Wednesday, February 18 – Monday, February 23)

Please mark your calendar and plan to join us for some wonderful winter revelry. Specific details regarding big beers to be served will be forthcoming shortly in an upcoming bulletin.

Cheers,
Bryan Baird

Baird Brewing Company
Numazu, Japan
HOMEPAGE


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Today’s Lunch Box/Bento (‘9/7)

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The days are still (relatively at 11 degrees!) cold in Shizuoka City, and the Missus thought of providing me with the right kind of needed calories.

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Therefore, I was offered 4 fairly large “nigiri/rice balls” containing “hijiki/sweet seaweed” and white sesame topped with “soft” umeboshi/Japanese pickled plums, the whole wrapped into “shiso/perilla” leaves.

bento-09-02-02-c

The plain “tamagoyaki/Japanese Omlelette” arrangement drew my attention as she alternated them upwards and sideways.
My compliment only drew a hiding (-“I always present them so!”-“Sorry, girl! I was too hungry to notice it before!”) from my (?) half. LOL

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As for the “accompaniment”, I was served, on a bed of chopped greens, home-made “chicken ham” later smoked with tea leaves. I refrained from complimenting as I had my dose of hiding for the day. Then some lettuce (not cut, but hand-shred), cornichons, soft cheese, plum tomatoes, and fruit for dessert: Shizuoka-grown orange, golden kiwi and strawberries.

If I can’t compliment, I can’t complain, either! LOL


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